Film Studies Movie List – 15 Best Movies To Study

Watching movies is a great way to learn about film and film studies. But which movie is best for learning? This blog aims to answer this question by providing a film studies movie list. Each movie has been selected based on the specific features that make it ideal for film studies, such as its historical significance, its aesthetic value, or its film-making techniques. So what are you waiting for? Start watching these movies and see how much easier film studies become!

How To Choose The Best Film For Film Studies?

Studying film can be fun and rewarding, but it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to choose something that will challenge your viewing habits and allow you to explore different aspects of film theory. When choosing a movie for film studies, it’s important to consider the elements of cinema. These include the camera, sound, editing, and motion.

When it comes to choosing the best film for film studies, you have a lot of options. There are classic films that are highly popular and timeless, as well as more recent works that might be more relevant to your interests. And then there are independent films that may not receive the same recognition or exposure but often hold greater artistic value.

To start, it is important to decide what type of filmmaker you admire most. Are you interested in famous directors like Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese? Or do you prefer lesser-known masters such as David Lynch or Pedro Almodóvar? Once you have an idea of who inspires you, consider looking at their entire body of work rather than just one particular movie. This way, you can get a sense of how they approach filmmaking and whether their style would be compatible with yours.

Additionally, it is helpful to consider what themes or messages the movie might contain. This can help inform your filmmaking projects in the future. So, whether you’re a beginner or a film enthusiast, there’s always room for another great movie!

Best Time To Study A Movie For Film Studies

The best time to study a movie for film studies is typical during the week when classes are not in session. This is because class loads can often interfere with your ability to focus and study, which can impact your grade.

Furthermore, you will have more uninterrupted time to review the material and apply it to future assignments.

Of course, there are times when studying at other times of the day may be more beneficial. If you’re struggling with understanding specific concepts or challenges while watching a movie, then breaking up the studying into smaller chunks may help better absorb what you’re watching.

And finally, don’t forget that practicing makes perfect! So if possible, take some time each night after finishing homework or during breaks between classes to watch one or two movies from your course selection list and analyze them critically.

15 Worth Watching Movies To Study For Film Studies

Watching movies can be a great way to learn about different cultures, learn history, and even learn some new skills. And if you’re planning on studying film for your film studies courses, then you’re going to want to watch some of the best films out there. Here are 15 worth watching, all of which are prolific for film studies.

1. Space Odyssey

Many film critics would say that Space Odyssey is one of the best movies for film studies, and there are a few good reasons why. Firstly, it was directed by two-time Academy Award winner Stanley Kubrick, who used innovative visual effects to create an atmospheric and visually captivating movie experience. Secondly, the storyline is rich with symbolism and nods to classic mythology which can provide teachers and students with clues about how films work as art forms.

In addition, Space Odyssey features some of the most memorable characters in movie history including HAL 9000 (a computer that becomes sentient), David Bowman (the protagonist), Monolith (an alien artifact related to evolution), Dr. Heywood Floyd (the scientist who helps Bowman escape from Atlantis), and Teldar Chase (a rival astronaut). All these elements make space Odyssey a great choice for film study classes or general interest screenings alike!

2. Double Identity

If you’re looking for an exciting, thought-provoking film to watch, then Double Identity may be a perfect choice. It is a thriller that takes place in both the present day and the 1960s and asks critical questions about freedom of expression, identity politics, race relations, and violence.

The cast includes Academy Award winner Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), David Oyelowo (Selma), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Richard Jenkins( Mud ), Stanly Phillips( Boyz n The Hood ), Simu Liu( Moonlight ), Amala Ratna Zandile Dlaminjo () …to name just a few!

Double Identity was directed by Billy Wilder who has earned several awards for his previous films. If you’re looking to add another gripping movie to your viewing list – one that will leave you thinking long after it’s over – then make sure to check out Double Identity!

3. Godfather

While many great films can be studied in film school, it is hard to argue against Godfather as one of the best. It is a complex and sophisticated masterpiece that has been critically acclaimed by audiences and filmmakers for over 40 years.

The story follows Michael Corleone as he rises from small-time criminal boss to Hollywood tycoon, all while remaining loyal to his family’s mafia empire. The acting performances are legendary, the cinematography stunning, and the screenplay is jaw-droppingly well written. In addition, it offers a unique look into 1970s American society and culture that cannot be found in any other movie.

If you’re interested in studying cinema or drama at the university level then Godfather should be on your list of movies to watch!

4. The Searchers

The Searchers is without a doubt one of the most iconic and critically acclaimed movies ever made. It has been praised for its tense, atmospheric scenes, nuanced character development, and powerful storytelling. Whether you are a student studying film or an enthusiast just looking to enjoy some good entertainment, The Searchers is definitely worth watching.

While The Searchers may not be everyone’s favorite movie, it is certainly a worthy addition to any film studies curriculum. This classic Western was directed by John Ford and stars Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. It tells the story of Ethan Edwards (Roy Rogers), who searches for his niece who has been kidnapped by Comanche warriors.

The plot is suspenseful and the acting superb, making this one movie that you don’t want to miss when studying cinema!

5. Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is often regarded as one of the best movies for film studies. It has depth, symbolism, and a complex story that can be dissected and analyzed endlessly. Aside from being an excellent movie to watch, it also offers many opportunities for classroom discussion and debate.

Citizen Kane was directed by Orson Welles in 1941 and is based on the life of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The screenplay was written by Orson Welles with Joseph Cotten in mind for the role of Charles Foster Kane.

The story follows Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), who undergoes a dramatic transformation after he loses his status as governor of California and nearly all his money due to bad investments.”

Aspects such as flashbacks, dream sequences, deep dialogue scenes, and multiple plot lines layered upon each other make Citizen Kane a rich source material for Film Studies classes at universities around the world.

6. Breathless

Breathless is one of the best movies for film studies. It was directed by Jean-Luc Godard and it features a star-studded cast that includes Audrey Tautou, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, and Omar Sy.

The movie follows two friends who rebel against the French culture of conformity during the early 1960s. They experiment with new styles and modes of living that are banned by society at large. This includes dressing in unusual clothes, exploration of drug use, and sexual liberation, as well as a general disregard for conventional morality.

Although Breathless is primarily an entertainment vehicle with a certain level of artistry involved (e.g., cinematography), its themes are nevertheless richly provocative and deserving of scholarly analysis due to their unique social context within France at the time made. So if you’re looking for a thrilling cinematic experience combined with deep insights into cinema history, then look no further than Breathless!

7. Raging Bull

Some viewers may find Raging Bull to be a challenging and intense film, while others might find it more approachable. Regardless of your feelings, there is no doubt that this movie is worth watching for film studies.

Raging Bull was directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, one of the most celebrated prizefighters in history.

The story follows La Motta’s career from his early days fighting on the streets of New York to his time at the top of his game. The fight scenes are visceral and exciting, and you will never look at boxing in the same way again after watching this masterpiece. Whether you’re a seasoned student or new to cinema study altogether, Raging Bull is an essential addition to your collection!

8. Seven Samurai

Some viewers may find Raging Bull to be a challenging and intense film, while others might find it more approachable. Regardless of your feelings, there is no doubt that this movie is worth watching for film studies.

Raging Bull was directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, one of the most celebrated prizefighters in history.

The story follows La Motta’s career from his early days fighting on the streets of New York to his time at the top of his game. The fight scenes are visceral and exciting, and you will never look at boxing in the same way again after watching this masterpiece. Whether you’re a seasoned student or new to cinema study altogether, Raging Bull is an essential addition to your collection!

9. Pulp Fiction

While many people might agree that Pulp Fiction is one of the greatest movies ever made, it’s not without its critics. For those who are new to film studies or have never watched it, it can be difficult to know what all the hype is about.

This iconic 1995 crime drama is without a doubt one of the most fascinating films for film studies. It has been used as an inspiration for countless movies and TV shows, and its dense narrative scenes and tight dialogue are sure to fascinate students.

So, should you watch Pulp Fiction? If you’re looking for a movie that will transport you into another world and make you laugh out loud (and sometimes cry), then yes, absolutely! Quentin Tarantino masterfully weaves together violence with comedy in an intricate plot full of twists and turns. Whether viewing it as a standalone film or part of a film study curriculum, you won’t regret watching this masterpiece.

10. Open City

Open City is a gripping drama that takes place in the aftermath of World War II. It tells the story of two friends, one Jewish and one Catholic, who are forced to live side-by-side after the Nazis take over their city. Despite their differences, they must work together to survive and protect what remains of their community.

The plot is intricately woven and flows seamlessly between scenes with compelling storytelling that will keep you on your toes until the end. The acting is top-notch, making Open City an excellent choice for film studies courses or general entertainment purposes. And when it comes to historical dramas, few can compare with this title!

Additionally, the acting skills of the cast are fantastic and will inspire students to take on roles in their filmmaking projects.

11. Battleship Potemkin

If you’re a fan of classic movies and enjoy exploring different films, Battleship Potemkin may be the perfect candidate for you. It is one of the most iconic films ever made and has been dubbed as one of the best movies for film studies.

Battleship Potemkin is set during World War II, and it tells the story of soldiers who are forced to fight on board a battleship that is captained by Captain Nikita Khrushchev (Stanislavski). The ship arrives at their destination only to find out that their enemy was hoaxed – everyone was deceived into thinking that an attack was imminent. As a result, morale decreases among the troops aboard the ship, and chaos ensues.

This movie offers viewers an interesting insight into war fever and propaganda techniques used in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Additionally, it features some striking visual effects that have never been replicated before or since. If you’re looking for something special to add to your film collection or want to explore cinema from another perspective, Battleship Potemkin should be on your list!

12. 12 Angry Men

While there are many great films for film studies, 12 Angry Men is one of the best. The screenplay by Archibald MacLeish is thought-provoking and suspenseful, making it a perfect choice to use in a college course on cinema. Whether you’re studying narrative structure or screenwriting techniques, this movie will be an invaluable resource.

In addition, the acting (particularly that of Henry Fonda) is top-notch, so you won’t miss any important details while watching it.

13. Nosferatu

While there are many great movies for film studies, Nosferatu may be one of the most underrated. This 1922 drama was directed by F.W. Murnau and stars Max Schreck as Count Dracula. It is considered to be a classic horror movie that has been influential in shaping the genre later on.

Several factors make Nosferatu an excellent choice for film studies students: it is well-acted, atmospheric, and suspenseful (from start to finish). Additionally, its macabre storyline provides plenty of fodder for discussion and analysis.

Finally, the cinematography is impeccable (especially considering it was made over 100 years ago!). If you’re looking for a truly classic Hollywood movie experience, then look no further than Nosferatu!

14. Metropolis

Metropolis is one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved movies for film studies, and it has a lot to offer any student of the art form. First, Metropolis is an expertly made science fiction movie that was released in 1927. It employs unique techniques such as cymatics, which were often used in advertising at the time to create an immersive experience for its viewers.

Additionally, Metropolis also stars some of Hollywood’s top actors including Rudolph Valentino and Emil Jannings who give amazing performances that are still admired by cinema lovers today. And last but not least, Metropolis has a strong narrative that flows smoothly from start to finish making it easy for students to follow along and understand everything that is happening onscreen.

15. Shadows

If you’re a film lover, then Shadows is one of the best movies for your curriculum. This movie is directed by John Cassavetes and tells the story of an American painter who travels to Mexico in search of his muse.

Along the way, he meets sinister characters that may have left their mark on him psychologically and physically.

The visuals are stunning and will leave you spellbound as you explore Tally Hall Mansion and other locations in Mexican Gothic splendor.

And while this isn’t a particularly easy watch due to its complex plot line, it is well worth your time when finishing up your film studies course!

Read more: 6 Best Books On Documentary Filmmaking

FAQs About Film Studies Movie List

Here are some common questions about the best books on documentary filmmaking. People frequently want to know the answers to these questions. Take a glance at the brief answers to learn more within a short time.

Which degree is best for the film?

A degree in film may be the best option for you if your goal is to work as a cinematographer. Cinematography requires an understanding of camera operation and lighting, which can only be acquired through intensive coursework.

Additionally, many cinematographers start their careers by working on smaller projects before moving on to bigger ones. So, while it might not be the quickest route to success, a degree in the film could ultimately lead you to a successful career in movie making.

What should be included in a film study?

A film study is a critical component of any filmmaking program and should be tailored to the individual student. A film study should include an analysis of the film’s plot, characters, and cinematography.

However, some general guidelines can help in developing an effective film study. This includes studying the technical aspects of cinema (cinematography, editing, sound), understanding storytelling principles, and analyzing core theatrical genres (comedy, drama). Additionally, you may want to focus on specific films or directors to understand their approach to cinematography or story-telling better.

Moreover, it’s important to keep up with current trends in filmmaking by watching world premieres and attending industry events where you can network with other filmmakers. And finally, make use of online resources like YouTube videos and blogs to supplement your learning experience.

Should I finish high school to pursue filmmaking?

The best way to pursue filmmaking may vary depending on your individual goals and skills. However, if you are interested in pursuing filmmaking as a career, it is generally advised that you graduate from high school. This will give you a solid foundation upon which to build and help improve your chances of success.

Once you have graduated from high school, there are many resources available to help you become a successful filmmaker. Some of the most important include taking classes at film schools or participating in workshops led by professionals. It’s also beneficial to take part in festivals and market your films through online platforms like social media or cinema halls.

Ultimately, becoming a filmmaker requires hard work and dedication but can be immensely rewarding when it pays off.

How can I become a professional film director like Orson Welles or Francis Ford Coppola?

It might be a little tough to become a professional film director like Orson Welles or Francis Ford Coppola, but it is not impossible. There are many different paths that you can take, and the most important thing is to start your journey by developing a good portfolio. This should consist of both short and long-form films that are creative and well-made.

Once you have successfully developed your portfolio, it is time to begin networking with industry professionals. Attend film festivals, meet people at industry events, and build relationships with other filmmakers. When the time comes for you to make your first movie submission, be sure to polish up your presentation skills so that producers see how great of an idea this could be for their company/production slate.

Are there any good documentaries in film studies that I should watch?

There are many great documentaries in film studies, but some of the most popular include “The Act of Killing” and “20 Feet from Stardom.” Both films explore human trafficking and the severe exploitation that takes place around the world. They provide a unique perspective on humanity and shed light on issues that are often left unseen.

Additionally, both movies have been widely praised for their compelling storytelling techniques.

Other great documentaries to watch include “We Are What We Eat,” which explores our relationship with food, and “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of Hollywood Film.”

This documentary investigates how filmmakers use mass media to construct representations of society, politics, and global events. It is an essential resource for any student interested in cinema as it provides insight into how Hollywood functions as a propaganda machine.

Which is better: classic or contemporary movies in film studies?

While both have their merits, classic movies might be better for those who are looking to learn about film history and how different periods of filmmaking influence the way we think about cinema today. Additionally, classic movies often offer a more immersive experience that is difficult to imitate in contemporary films.

On the other hand, contemporary filmmakers are constantly experimenting with new techniques and creating refreshingly original works that can appeal to all types of moviegoers. So while there may not be one clear winner here, overall it would seem that classics continue to hold up well over time.

What is the best silent film recommendation for film students?

Many great films are perfect for film students, and it can be difficult to choose just one. However, if we were to recommend a particular movie, it would be The Shape of Water. This dark fantasy is filled with rich visuals and an emotionally captivating story that will engage your senses from start to finish.

Plus, the lush soundtrack provides a vivid backdrop for the events on the screen which makes this film even more special.

What are some of the most underrated film noir to study in film studies?

Some of the most underrated and overlooked film noirs are classics that deserve greater recognition. These films often explore criminal underworlds, espionage, and psychological thriller genres with a style that is Machine Gun Kelly meets Taxi Driver.

Which Stanley Kubrick movies should I watch before attending a film school?

Some of Stanley Kubrick’s best-known movies include “A Clockwork Orange,” “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” and “The Shining.” All three of these films are dark psychological dramas that can provide valuable insights into film school learning.

Additionally, Kubrick was a master at creating suspenseful scenes that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat during film class!

Which Hitchcock movies should all film majors watch?

When it comes to Hitchcock movies, there are many that every film major should watch. Some of the classics include The Lodger, Psycho, Rear Window, and Vertigo. These films showcase Hitchcock’s unique ability to create suspenseful stories with unforgettable characters.

In addition to his well-known thriller movies, Hitchcock is also known for directing some critically acclaimed dramas like To Kill a Mockingbird and His Girl Friday. Both of these films explore the human condition in rewarding ways and are sure to fascinate film majors alike.

If you’re looking for recommendations that focus on contemporary filmmaking styles or themes, then check out such titles as Blue Valentine or Don’t Tell Mom the Perks of Being a Wallflower. Either way, by watching some of Hitchcock’s classic masterpieces you’ll soon be able to put your spin on cinematic storytelling!

Film Studies Movie List- Final Thought

Studying the greatest films can be a great way to learn about cinematography, screenwriting, and other film-related concepts.

Hopefully, this blog has outlined some of the best movies for film studies, as well as the best time to study them. Make sure to check out our other blogs based on the film industry to get the most out of popular movie studies!

Happy reading!

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